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Libertyville's Historic Milwaukee Avenue
Item 14 of 40

With four restaurants in the ground floor and 34 apartments above, the Manchester Square building, begun in 2007, is a recent addition to the Milwaukee Avenue landscape. Three buildings stood on this property before Manchester Square. Built in 1914, 607 N. Milwaukee Avenue was the new home of the Lake County Independent newspaper. 615 N. Milwaukee Avenue was built in the early 1930s as an automobile service station. 611 N. Milwaukee Avenue, built in 1911, contained an automobile garage and showroom building. This structure would witness the introduction of the automobile in Libertyville and the beginnings of two Libertyville automobile dealerships.

  • Shakou, 625 N. Milwaukee Avenue, circa 2016
  • Casa Bonita, 633 N. Milwaukee Avenue, circa 2016
  • Looking north on Milwaukee Avenue, about 1912-1914, Libertyville Gargage on the left
  • Libertyville Independent and Libertyville Garage buildings, 1923, looking south from Lake Street
  • Looking south from Lake Street, 1958
  • 607 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Liberty Liquor Store, 1956
  • 607 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Household Finance, circa 1974-1976
  • 611 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Bernard Chevrolet, 1955
  • 611 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Northern Illinois Honda,  circa 1974-1976

Manchester Square was a much-anticipated replacement for what was considered a sore spot on Libertyville’s Milwaukee Avenue. Joe Tremont and his company JTEH LLC planned to replace buildings at 607, 611 and 615 N. Milwaukee Avenue, with a U-shaped three story building “designed to look like several individual structures with an old time feel.” The building was presented as a three story development with fourteen luxury condominiums with 9 feet ceilings, luxury baths, granite counters and designer lighting. Penthouse rooftop patios were also planned.

After two years of planning and negotiating with the village, the foundations for the building were poured and building began in 2007. Due to parking space allotment issues, permit extensions and a recession, the building still was not completely finished in 2013. The ground floor was occupied by four restaurants, but the second and third floors remained unfinished. Cedar Street Companies acquired Manchester Square in November 2013, rebuilt the top two floors to accommodate 34 apartments and started renting in 2016.

Today, the ground floor is still home to the four original restaurants: Egg Harbor, Casa Bonita, Shakou Sushi and Tommy’s Pizza & Sports Bar. 

Previous Buildings

611 N. Milwaukee Avenue

Before there was Manchester Square, there was the Libertyville Garage, built about 1911 by George Quentin. Before moving to Libertyville and building the garage, George Quentin had operated a creamery in Long Grove. There, he became involved in Vernon Township politics and served as township supervisor.

The building at 611 N. Milwaukee Avenue, featured a two-story front room that faced Milwaukee Avenue. The business had the “distinction of being the only garage in the county west of Waukegan,” and serviced the small, but growing number of automobiles in Libertyville.

In 1914, George Quentin moved to Chicago and sold his garage and repair shop business to John N. Bernard. The automobile repair garage also started selling automobiles under J. N. Bernard’s ownership. It was the beginning of three generations of the Bernard family owning and operating what would become Bernard Chevrolet in Libertyville

Along with an indoor automobile showroom, the business operated gasoline pumps along Milwaukee Avenue, at the time a narrow dirt road between Chicago and the Lakes region, a main route now known as Route 21. Bernard Chevrolet continued at this location until 1959 when the car dealership moved to South Milwaukee Avenue.

By 1966, the building became home to Northern Illinois Honda. The Honda brand motorcycle store was started by the Pauly family. The Pauly organization would later sell automobiles, and in 1972 became the first Honda automobile dealership in Illinois.

Banzai Motor Sports was the last business to occupy the original building. During a rain storm on May 1, 2003, the roof collapsed on the Banzai Motor Sports showroom. The building was eventually demolished and plans for Manchester Square began to form.

615 N. Milwaukee Avenue

In 1925, an automobile service station was built at 615 N. Milwaukee Avenue on the southwest corner of Lake Street and Milwaukee Avenue. Sinclair Service Station operated until 1931, and Merle’s Auto Service continued at this site until 1942. Central Auto Service opened for business and remained open until the late 1960s when Northern Illinois Honda took over the lot and building.

607 N. Milwaukee Avenue

In 1914, a building designed to house the Lake County Independent newspaper was constructed at 607 N. Milwaukee Avenue. The one story structure was built with a concrete foundation to accommodate the heavy printing presses. The brick building was built on an empty lot of land that newspaper editor W. J. Smith had purchased from Gerhard Schreck.

In April of 1930, the Libertyville Independent (a name change occurred in 1916) newspaper merged with the Lake County Register to become the Independent Register. The newly formed newspaper moved all operations to 111 West Church Street. The 607 N. Milwaukee Ave. building was soon home to Countryside Motors and then in 1934, Gruendwald and Sawusch Motor Sales and Service. Both were Dodge and Plymouth Sales and Service stores. Through the 1940s and into the early 1960s Liberty Liquors occupied the building. The building continued as storefront space for businesses, including a branch of the Household Finance Corporation in the 1970s.

“George Quentin Sold Libertyville Garage.” Lake County Independent. March 20, 1914 p.4

“Independent is Now Installed in its New Quarters.” Lake County Independent. December 4, 1914, p. 1.

“George Quentin Ends Life in His Chicago Residence.” Lake County Independent. June 18, 1915, p. 1

 “Want a New “Chev” or Olds? Jack Bernard is the Man.” Independent Register. April 10, 1941, p. 1.

“Bernard Marks 60th Year.” Independent Register. March 23, 1973 p. 1

“Bernard Chevrolet-RV- About Us.” Bernard Chevrolet-RV. (accessed 4/29/2010).

Newman, Jim. "Bernard’s a Family Affair: Growth Marks 75 Years of Car Sales." News Sun. July 22, 1989., p. 1.

Zawislak, Mick."Roof Collapse Closes Shop in Downtown Libertyville." Daily Herald. May 2, 2003.

Zawislak, Mick. "Libertyville Corner Getting a Makeover." Daily Herald. September 14, 2006.

Zawislak, Mick. "Finally, Progress at Bonzai Site: Key Libertyville-Intersection to go Upscale, and Officials Can’t Wait to See it." Daily Herald. September 8, 2007.

Hickey, Laura, Arlene Lane, and Sonia Schoenfield. Then and Now: Libertyville. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. 2010.

Zawislak, Mick. "New Owner Pegs Manchester Square for Apartments." Daily Herald. November 12, 2013.

Zawislak, Mick. "Luxury Apartments Pitched in Libertyville." Daily Herald. October 31, 2014.

“Pauly Honda and Pauly Accura,” nd. BSA Northeast Illinois Council – The Kasperson Center, Vernon Hills, IL. July 25, 2020.

Libertyville Telephone Books. Libertyville-Mundelein Historical Society collection.

"Edward Sawusch Sells Dodge, Plymouth; Buys New Location." Independent Register, May 1, 1941, p.1.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Village of Libertyville.

Village of Libertyville.

Libertyville-Mundelein Historical Society

Libertyville-Mundelein Historical Society. Photo Book 2.

Cook Memorial Public Library

Libertyville-Mundelein Historical

Libertyville-Mundelein Historical Society. Libertyville Township Assessor collection.

Libertyville-Mundelein Historical Society. Cizek Collection.

Libertyville-Mundelein Historical Society. Libertyville Township Assessor collection.